Budget restraints often mean schools are reducing the size of their senior leadership teams, which inevitably pushes additional responsibilities down onto middle leaders.
Middle leaders have a key role in influencing the standard of education within a school that is laid out in the new EIF
Your middle leaders are likely to be made up of the head of departments by subject or key stages. These colleagues should come together as a middle leadership team that can drive the school’s vision and improvement plan forward.
Strategies for a Successful School Leadership Team
1. Be aware of roles within the team
Each leader will have responsibilities and workloads depending on their roles, such as safeguarding or behaviour. Ensuring that the team members develop an understanding of each other’s roles will create a more harmonious team.
2. Allocate leadership workload fairly
Leaders are usually required to take on duties at lunch, before and after school, which will add to each member’s workload. When sharing duties, it is crucial to be seen to do so equally so that nobody feels resentment toward other team members.
3. Schedule regular catch-ups for individual leaders
Taking on leadership responsibilities brings additional challenges, so it is helpful for leaders to have one-to-one meetings with their line managers to have an opportunity to discuss how they are coping.
Line managers must be prepared to judge whether the challenges are sufficiently manageable and step in where necessary.
4. Review school development plan targets
Meetings should include space to review the progress towards SDP targets. Discussion should enable collaboration when there are barriers to completing particular targets.
5. Encourage participation in meetings
Every member of the leadership team should feel valued. One way is to ensure that all leaders are encouraged to contribute to meetings.
Appropriate questions and space to listen will help everyone to share their ideas.
6. Establish a culture of research
Keeping up to date with research on a wide range of educational topics can be daunting. However, if leaders are encouraged to share ideas they have learned from blogs, TES and new publications, it can be helpful to the team.
It’s best to avoid prescriptive reading as it can increase workload too much, but building a culture where new ideas are welcomed can make your leadership team more innovative and likely to solve problems.
7. Remind Leaders to set an example
Behaviour and attitude to learning are part of the school ethos, which is often written up and displayed around the school. The leadership team are the primary driver of this ethos through their behaviour publicly and when not being watched.
Leaders are responsible for setting the tone via their actions and communication with each other, staff and the students.
8. Recognise the pressures
Creating successful leadership teams is rewarding but challenging. Leadership is demanding and can be highly stressful, so it helps to retain some humour and offer some cheer in meetings with opportunities to share lighter moments from their day.
If you are a school leader looking for an exciting new role, do not hesitate to get in touch with us at Strategy Education to find out about the opportunities we have waiting for you.